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Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)



Postdoc "Evolution and genetics of synthetic pathways
of microbial lipid biomarkers"


The Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB; department chair prof. dr. J.S. Sinninghe Damsté) is looking for a driven individual with excellent technical and cognitive abilities. Applicants must have a strong background in molecular biology and microbial physiology. Experience with genomic techniques as well as culturing is a prerequisite, experience with lipid analysis is beneficial.

LOCATION: ROYAL NIOZ TEXEL ('T HORNTJE, THE NETHERLANDS)
VACANCY ID: 2016 - 070
CLOSING DATE: October 31st, 2016

THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry performs detailed studies on microbial communities in the marine environment. We study the diversity, physiology and activity of phytoplankton, prokaryotes (archaea and bacteria) and viruses in diverse marine environmental settings by a variety of techniques, including modern genomic techniques.

We cover a wide range of scientific disciplines through experiments and data collection during sea-going oceanographic research as well as through home-based laboratory experiments and analyses.

All involved scientists rely on modern observational techniques including moorings, landers, thermistor strings, trace-metal clean samplers, and novel underwater autonomous observations.

For this research we actively collaborate with peers in (inter)national partner institutes including the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU) and the Faculty of Earth Sciences of Utrecht University, as well as e.g., MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences in Bremen and the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany.

THE RESEARCH
The aim of the ERC-funded project "MICROLIPIDS" is to characterize the hidden diversity of microbial lipids and their lipid biosynthetic pathways to improve our understanding of the evolution of lipid acquisition in the three domains of life and to implement microbial lipids as biomarkers in the environment and as organic proxies in earth science.

The project is comprised of several subprojects, each focusing on different aspects of microbial lipids from a different perspective, i.e. analytical chemistry, molecular biology and microbial ecology.

In this subproject, the goal is to determine the biosynthetic pathways leading to specific microbial lipids and to investigate their gene regulation under different physiological and environmental conditions. In addition, phylogenomic analyses will be conducted to unravel the evolution of the acquisition of those lipid biomarkers.

THE CANDIDATE
We are looking for a driven individual with excellent technical and cognitive abilities. Applicants must have a strong background in molecular biology and microbial physiology. Experience with genomic techniques as well as culturing is a prerequisite, experience with lipid analysis is beneficial. Due to the international character of the research group, excellent English communication skills are expected.

CONDITIONS
In case the position will be offered at the tenure-track level, the successful candidate will be hired for 5 years. At the end of a successful tenure track term, a permanent scientific staff position will be offered up to the level of senior scientist. Criteria for evaluation comprise a track record of publications that is far above average, proven skills in acquiring funding, and an international network.

We offer a pension scheme, a health insurance allowance, a yearly 8% vacation allowance, year-end bonus and flexible employment conditions. Our labour policies are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of Research Centers (WVOI). The Royal NIOZ will provide cost of relocation and help with housing.

Applicants for this vacancy must submit a brief Research Statement (2 A4 max). You may attach this short testimonial to your CV/Resume in the application form.

Additional information on job details: dr. Laura Villanueva (research scientist) and/or prof. dr. J.S. Sinninghe Damsté (department head).

For additional information about the procedure, please contact Jolanda Evers (sr. HR advisor).


posted: 28 September 2016     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.